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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 1802Book's First Page
In this endeavour they sought paternalistic support of government for their work of religious propaganda. They also sought support of British merchants and manufacturers by holding out hope that converted India would be a better market for their goods. They were allowed free entry into India through Charter Act of 1813. Their Major Activities Having belief in superiority of western world, thousands of missionaries passionately carried their faith to India and engaged themselves in humanitarian activities such as opening of schools, orphanages and hospitals. Their important contribution to Indian society was in field of education. Missionaries influenced colonial government to transfer educational matters to their control. In process of their educational propaganda, Christian missionaries linked illiteracy and ignorance to backwardness of Indian society. They were to focus attention on social practices such as sati, child marriage and enforced widowhood as indicators of backwardness. Their motive behind introduction of modern education was that it would destroy faith of people in their own religions and lead them to Christianity. In fact, missionaries were successful in converting a considerable section of population into Christians. Untouchability and poverty were mainly responsible for this trend. Outcome of their Activities The major outcome was development of deep-rooted suspicion in minds of traditional Indians. They believed that Christianity would destroy Hinduism. On seeing government’s patronage to missionary activities, this fear was strengthened. Enactment of Converts’ Inheritance Act in 1850 was more than what they could stomach. Behaviour of missionaries was very much resented by Indians. Activities of missionaries were among important causes for outbreak of Revolt of 1857. Their vigorous activities and vehement criticism of Hindu religion and society helped to rouse Hinduism from its slumber. With a view to putting a stop to rapid conversion of Indians to Christianity and cleaning Indian society of its many ills, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda and many reformers appeared on scene.